Sesame grows in well drained, sandy loam soils. Coarse sandy soils and soils of
alkaline and saline nature are not suited for the crop.
Lowland paddy field: Dec- April (third crop)
Uplands: Aug- Dec
For upland cultivation use varieties with long duration of 100-110 days and for
low land, use varieties with duration of 80-99 days.
Preparation of land and sowing
Prepare the soil into a fine tilth by ploughing 2-4 times and breaking the clods.
Seed rate is 4-5 kg/ha. Broadcast seeds evenly, preferably mixed with sand 2-3 times
its volume, to ensure uniform coverage. Work with harrow, followed by pressing with
wooden plank so as to cover the seed in the soil.
Apply manures and ferilizers at the following rates
Cattle manure/ compost: 5t/ha
N: P2O5: K2O – 30:15:30 kg/ha
Apply FYM/ compost as basal dressing and incorporate into the soil along with last
ploughing. Apply fertilizers as basal dose when there is enough moisture in the
soil. Urea is preferable to ammonium sulphate. Nitrogen may be applied in split
doses, 75% as basal and the balance as foliar spray at 3% concentration, 20-35 DAS
keeping the discharge rate at 500 l/ha.
After cultivation of the crop may be done twice, first at 15 days and the next 25-
35 DAS. When the plants are about 15cm in height, thin the crop so as to give a
spacing of 15-25 cm between plants.
Usually the crop is grown under rainfed conditions. When facilities are available,
the crop may be irrigated to field capacity after thinning operation and thereafter
at 15-20 days interval. Stop irrigation just before the pods begin to mature.
Surface irrigation at 3cm depth during the critical stages, viz: 4-5 eaves, branching,
flowering and pod formation will increase the yield by 35-52%. Two irrigation of
3cm depth each in the vegetative phase (branching) and in reproductive phase (at
flowering or pod formation) are the best, registering maximum yield and water use
efficiency. In the case of single irrigation, it can be best given in the reproductive
phase. In the tail end fields in command area, the best use of sparingly available
water can be made for augmenting sesame production.
Harvest the crop, when the capsule turns yellowish by pulling out the plants. Harvest
during the morning hours. Cut the root portion and stack the plants in bundles for
3-4 days when the leaves will fall off. Spread in the sun and beat with sticks to
break open the capsules. Repeat this for 3 days. Preserve seeds collected during
the first day fo seed purposes. Clean and dry in sun for about 7 days before storing.
Storage of seeds
By keeping sesame seeds in polybags, tin bins, wooden receptacles or in earthen
pots, the viability can be maintained for about one year. Admixture of seeds with
ash will drastically reduce germination.